Transnet takes over manganese inland terminal


Transnet has taken over operations of an inland terminal for the loading and handling of manganese at Lohatlha in the Northern Cape.

The terminal, which is situated about 100 kilometres from South Africa’s manganese belt in the Hotazel area, is specially designed to service emerging mines. 

“The move will position Transnet to strategically reconfigure one of the critical logistics channels by allowing emerging miners to pile and load manganese onto rail instead of using road,” said Gert De Beer, Transnet chief business development officer. 

Transnet took control of the terminal at the beginning of this month (July) following the termination of the contract held by previous operator SAFreight Logistics (Saflog).

The manganese terminal will be operated by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) with the commodity transported through Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) networks to the ports.  

The Lohatlha terminal is the biggest inland terminal of the three operated by TPT. It handles around 1.8 million tons of manganese per annum which could reach up to 2 million tons at full capacity. 

TPT operates two other inland terminals - the Pendoring multi-purpose terminal in Brits, west of Pretoria, and the Newcon terminal in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. 

Lohatlha terminal will service emerging miners who are also part of the Manganese Export Capacity Allocation (MECA 2) contract recently signed by a number of large manganese companies such as South32 and Tshipi ‘e ntle among others.

The MECA 2 project is intended to service the manganese mining industry for seven and half years at a take-or-pay contract agreement. This would provide security for exported manganese volumes to Transnet and security of export rail and port logistics to customers, said De Beer.

South Africa accounts for close to 75% of global manganese reserves. The project aims to retain the country’s position as the leading exporter of high-grade manganese ore.


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